The Atlantic Daily: Build Me Bridges

Michael Cohen’s claim about the Trump Tower meeting, the parents deported without their children, what grown-ups can learn from rereading kids’ books, and more.

The Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York City (Brendan McDermid / Reuters)

What We’re Following

Cohen’s Claim: Michael Cohen is reportedly prepared to tell prosecutors that he and several others were present when Donald Trump learned of his campaign officials’ plans to meet with a Russian lawyer who’d promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Trump’s legal team denies Cohen’s account—but the president’s claims about the meeting have been proven false before. Here’s what legal experts say Cohen’s statements could mean for Trump.

Education News: Emails obtained by The Atlantic reveal that while working in Trump’s education department, a former official scheduled meetings with his contacts in the for-profit college industry to discuss regulations on that industry that are now being scaled back. Read Adam Harris’s report. Elsewhere, ethical controversies have prompted the Koch Foundation to release more information about the contracts related to the funding it gives universities. Here’s how Arizona State University plans to spend the foundation’s latest grant.

Drug-Industry Ethics: A clinical trial that repurposed sildenafil, an erectile-dysfunction drug, to treat a condition in which fetuses grow too slowly in the womb has been canceled after 11 of the babies in the study died after birth. Sarah Zhang explains the science and the economics that led to the test. And the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced a deal with 23andMe that will allow it to use the DNA-testing company’s customer data for drug research, prompting backlash about the ethics of 23andMe’s business model.


Kevin VQ Dam’s illustration captures how the books we read as children follow us into adulthood—sometimes revealing new insights with successive rereadings. Read more.

Evening Read

Alex Wagner on the mission to reunite a migrant father with his son:

“He lives in a tiny mountain village by the river, on the border between two states in Honduras.” This was the scant information given to Clara Long, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, and her partner, a Honduran lawyer affiliated with the Justice in Motion defender network, as they embarked on a mission to correct one of the most serious mistakes of the Trump administration. The man in question was the father of a 4-year-old boy. The two had been separated as a result of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy earlier this year: Miguel, the father, was in Honduras; his toddler son was 1,800 miles away in Chicago.

Keep reading, as Alex reports on what will happen to the estimated 463 children in federal custody whose parents have already been deported.

What Do You Know … About Culture?

1. The first food writer to win a Pulitzer Prize was ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Applied to the soundtrack of a TV show, the term ____________ describes music that both the viewer and the characters can hear.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. Honorees pay about $____________ to install their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Poem of the Week

From our September 1864 issue, “The Bridge of Cloud,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Ah, no longer wizard Fancy
Builds its castles in the air,
Luring me by necromancy
Up the never-ending stair!

But, instead, it builds me bridges
Over many a dark ravine,
Where beneath the gusty ridges
Cataracts dash and roar unseen.

Read more.

Reader Response

When the Justice Department reopened the Emmett Till case this month, Vann R. Newkirk II argued that little could come of the new investigation with the two main perpetrators of the lynching dead. Dave Tell, a communications professor in Lawrence, Kansas, responds:

True enough, but there are other reasons to welcome the continuing investigation. I’ve written extensively about the commemoration of the Till murder, and one of the many lessons I’ve learned is this: The long-delayed pursuit of justice can spark racial reconciliation in the most unlikely of ways.

Read more, and write to us at

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday from Leigh to Corey (twice the age of Wikipedia) and to Tony’s daughter Addison—who, at 6, is too young for the timeline, but just the right age to give great life advice.

For tomorrow, happy birthday to Emily (twice the age of American Idol).

Meet The Atlantic Daily’s team, and contact us.

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